Yesterday was a ton of fun. I'm so glad that I signed up for the Pigskin Classic 5K with Erika. We all had perfect timing arriving in Cleveland and had no problem finding each other. The morning was quite chilly. Chilly enough to make our teeth chatter. Brrrr....Even though it was chilly we all enjoyed the pre-race atmosphere at the Tailgate along with Erika and KD's friends, Jen and Ian. After waiting around for a bit the race finally started 15 minutes late due to organization problems.
When the race started Jen and Erika did their thing while I stayed back and did my own thing. Upon starting out I had the numb foot feeling. Not to the point of hurting, but the kind that when your feet strike your feet feel tiny. Know what I'm sayin'? I didn't know what to expect with the race course. I had looked at the map, but considering I'm not all that familiar with Cleveland, it didn't help much. However, I was hoping that it wasn't going to be as hilly as OROC. For the most part OROC was uphill the first half, then downhill the second half. Boy, was I in for a surprise! We rounded the first corner and started heading downhill. You know what that means, if you're going downhill, you know that you're going to have to go back up that hill to get back to where you started. Basically this race was the opposite of OROC. Downhill the first half, and uphill the second half. Man.
So the first 1/4 was downhill to the Browns Stadium, it wound around the stadium, headed back uphill, then in front of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, downhill and to the airport. It was a down and back course, meaning you basically turn right around and go the opposite direction. Considering that, Jen and Erika passed me on their way back. I gave them a quick wave as they hollered "Heidi Henry!" at me. I felt great at that point. It's always an awesome feeling to hear your name called out in encouragement. That was when I started focusing on the second half. I was dreading that final hill, knowing it was going to kick my butt. However, the wind wasn't too bad considering we were right on the water, so I just kept telling myself, "It will be ok." That's when a second surprise came. Upon turning the corner of the Browns Stadium to head up the final hill, I hit a wall of wind. Gosh. That's when the hardcore self-talking had to kick in. Once again, just like OROC, I found myself near a young boy. He was trying his hardest to go up that hill. He just gave up and started walking. When I caught up to him I told him, "Come on man. You're almost there. You can do it." He picked up his pace and kicked it out. Awesome. It's amazing how when you encourage someone else, it inspires you to keep going too.
The last quarter of the hill I kicked into overdrive. I focused in on my goal of passing "that" person ahead of me. When I met that goal, I focused in again on the next person, then the next person. I rounded the corner, heard my name being yelled, flashed my quick "hang loose" sign, and finished it out strong. I felt good.
Every race thus far has been different in a multitude of ways. This race brought it's own new experiences and fun with it. I must say, races are even more fun when you know other people who are running. Just in racing with new people, I now understand the camaraderie that goes along with the racing world. The pre-race and post-race fun, just enjoying each other's company. It was a blast. The coolest thing is that it's a chill type of atmosphere.
After the race, we tailgated a bit more then headed into the bar to hang out. Although there were a ton of people there was enough room for everyone, and for the most part it was a positive atmosphere. I've never been all that close with KD so it's great to get to spend some time with him and Erika, and get to know them better. And getting to know their friends/coworkers is even better. I look forward to many more experiences. Thanks to KD, Erika, Jen, Ian, and Brian for including me in on the fun. And by the way, the shirts are really cool. The coolest race shirt to date, for me.
After all the fun I drove home to find a happy husband, since OSU won. Go Buckeyes! I took a quick shower then we headed to Fridays with Sita and Alpa. After arriving home I should've taken it easy but we decided to start our Christmas decorating. Hey, why not take advantage of the time? We turned on the Christmas music and away we went. By the time 10pm came around I was about to fall over from being tired.
My legs hurt some yesterday but boy did they hurt today. I couldn't believe how sore they were when I woke up. I decided to take the day off of running while David headed out for a short route (making me feel guilty). For the first time he took the Garmin to measure his speed. Goodness gracious....as I thought, that boy can move! The Garmin measured him at an average pace of 7:50/mile. Let's put this into perspective....my average is 10-10:15/mile on a good day. Now I know I'm slow, but he's still fast. And I would consider that a bad day for him since he was struggling with the cold and his asthma today. Ah well. I can't be jealous as it took him some time in the Marine Corps to get to where he is and he's worked VERY hard at it. I'm proud.
The rest of the day was quite uneventful. I spent some time bumming around with Sita, but we had to cut it short with my legs killing me. I can only guess the aching is coming from the lack of adequate stretching, cold weather, the uphill incline, and the amount of standing we did yesterday. If I feel like this after a 5K what am I going to feel like after my someday marathon? I don't even want to imagine. It's okay, I'll get there. That's why I do what I do. According to the Marine Corps, pain is weakness leaving the body, right? Thankfully I have a mother-in-law who's a massotherapist in training and I get to be the guinea pig. Yes! And better yet, they're learning athletic massage right now. Ooh, after she worked on me, I feel much better.
I think that's about all for now. Today is a short week for work. Only Monday and Tuesday. Sweet. My exams should be posted by tomorrow, so I'll be able to get those out of the way at some point this week too. Then Thursday, Turkey Day! David and I will be running the Turkey Dash 5K with Erika, then spending some time with family. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and you're looking forward to the upcoming holiday.